6 Top Email Marketing Trends Today

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Email marketing occupies an interesting space in our digital marketing tool kit. For over a decade now there have been the naysayers, repeatedly calling email marketing ‘dead’. In 2010, Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg proclaimed that email “is probably going away”. Countless marketers and tech experts shout and lecture that email marketing is obsolete every year. But we all know now that the death of email marketing is greatly exaggerated" as Mark Twain would have said if he was alive today. You might even be reading this article in an email forwarded to you or as a new post subscription notification! 

Email Marketing Is Still Effective

We’re in a world where email marketing is more important than ever. However, this statement isn’t enough by itself. If we think of email marketing along the 2000-2010 time frame when marketers enjoyed 50-90% open rates... then yes, email marketing has died a little bit. Marketing as a whole has undergone such momentous changes over the last few years that no element of it reflects its old-self. Email marketing is the same. It is still highly relevant but this year has seen the scales tip even further: now more than 50% of the world’s population use email. Given that we know that email marketing brings in more in terms of ROI than any other marketing channel, we’d be fools to ignore its power. But, it’s only relevant when we embrace how email marketing is adapting. 

Here are 6 top email marketing trends which will continue shaping the industry. 

1. Branding Really Matters 

We are no strangers to the power of branding. There’s good reason why we have made branding central to the online approach of marketing. It’s because in the highly-visual highly-connected digital world, branding matters more than ever. It’s our belief that this will become even more the case today. More and more there is seamless integration between marketing channels. These aren’t different people you’re communicating with in different ways: these are the same people, coming at you from different angles. That means you branding needs to be bullet-proof and completely consistent. That’s a tough thing to achieve in many ways. If your business is managing multiple marketing channels which range from email marketing to Facebook ads, how do you achieve consistency? It all starts with a rock-solid understanding of your brand identity throughout your business. Once this message is successfully communicated to everyone, you’ll have some spot-on brand guidelines which can be stuck to like glue – by everyone. For those in the software industry this is actually good news. Your brand is so integral to your success and you know that software can often provide the solutions. For example, clever email marketing software will enable you to use brand-centered templates and allow you to build effective email marketing campaigns around your brand identity, not the other way around. 

How to respond to this trend: Go into this year with your business branding in order for email advertising. We’re on hand to help you with the complete branding cycle, including its importance across all channels including email marketing. Start from your brand and work forwards to build loyalty. 

2. Email Marketing Testing Is Getting Supercharged 

When it comes to email marketing, it’s possible to get lost in some jargon. However, within the software industry, you are not strangers to split testing. With email marketing it’s been necessary for a while, but from this past year we will see it become more and more important. However, software is the solution here. Split A/B testing isn’t difficult when it comes to email marketing as long as you’re using the right tech. It allows you to pull out the different variables of campaigns so you can see what works and what doesn’t. This really matters if you want to benefit from those email marketing stats about return on investment (ROI). ROI with email marketing isn’t a given, it has to be earned. 

How to respond to this trend: It’s time to view split testing as part of your standard process of email marketing. To do this the simplest solution is to use reputable software. Knowing which software to choose will require expert advice as there are a huge number of options. 

3. It’s Time To Banish Silos If You Want A Genuine Customer Connection 

Increasingly in the modern world, we are going to see a shift towards smarter marketing. The innovation is there to make it possible for us to have a seamless unity between email marketing and other marketing channels. We need to use it. Our customers expect us to. This is becoming increasingly important due to the changing nature of the customer. They aren’t waiting on you to get in touch. They aren’t passive. They are active, doing their own research on who you are and what you do. They are choosing the touch points – you need to be ready for them. It’s becoming increasingly rare for a customer to find you, look, decide, buy. Instead, with all these touch points in their palms, they will come along and dip in and out. All the while they are expecting to see a relationship build. Then, and only then, they make the purchase. Therefore, we need to be honest here: email marketing cannot stand alone. It needs to sit comfortably alongside other ways to connect with customers. So now that we are able to banish this idea that email marketing is dead, we can confidently bring different elements of marketing together to work together. 

How to respond to this trend: It’s time to realize that you don’t need to be defensive about email marketing. The proof is out there – it works. So now it’s time to bring it alongside all your marketing components so that your marketing message is cohesive. It should all work together. 

4. User-Generated Email Content Is Pure Gold 

The age of modern marketing will see us becoming increasingly confident with our use of user-generated content (UGC). As marketers, this can feel outside of our control. However, it’s incredibly powerful. UGC is simply content created by your end-user. So, it could be text, video or images. In its simplest form it is the ‘review’. If you can use UGC in your email marketing then you’ll be on to a winner. This is because consumers love hearing about what others like them think of you, rather than the marketing spiel you can spin. A study by Nielsen, Global Trust in Advertising and Brand Messages, found that 92% of consumers globally trust word-of-mouth recommendations over and above all other types of advertising content. So, we need to use it. Email marketing is a great way to get hold of UGC. A simple click questions or enticing them to a longer survey is possible through email marketing. 

How to respond to this trend: Again, software and marketing know-how are your friends here. Knowing when and how to ask for feedback via email marketing is complex but vital. It’ll prove to be the easiest and safest way to secure plenty of juicy UGC for use across your campaigns. 

5. Responsiveness Matters More Than Ever Before

Email marketing has gone mobile! You do it yourself: more and more users look at, and respond to, emails in the palm of your hand. Many in the industry are predicting that this is the year when the scales tip here too: it will be the year when more emails are opened on mobile devices than are opened on desktop or laptop computers. So, if you don’t optimize the emails for mobile you send out then they are going straight to the trash. Worse than that, the recipient gets a view of your brand as out of touch. 

How to respond to this trend: Again, your best bet is to recognize the benefits of your own industry: software is the solution. Only let a marketing agency loose on your campaigns if you know they use the right tools for now. This means that each and every email in every campaign must be responsive and optimized to work well on a mobile device. This can be tricky when you want to also get the interactivity of UGC during your business email marketing campaigns. 

6. Automation Is Unavoidable And Should Be Embraced

It’s time to stop avoiding automation out of fear. Without embracing automation, the other important email marketing trends are near impossible. The good news is that again technology is helping us out here. Email automation means that we can analyse, test, and optimize, with the click of a button. It’ll also be the way in to using machine learning as we go forwards. A brilliant example of this is smarter automated segmentation. Without having to laboriously undertake segmentation, you can use machine learning and automation to make it easy. This will lead to a more personalized approach for the customer without an increased burden on you. This matter because, as we’ve seen from the last few years, personalization is both needed and expected. Email marketing has to speak to the individual and automation is the only way to make that realistic. 

How to respond to this trend: It’s time to deliver the right message to the right person and at the right time. Introducing greater amounts of automation to your email marketing will make this possible. Knowing how to introduce automation and utilize it effectively requires support. However, this will allow you to understand and respond to customer behavior, meaning you can be personal and relevant whilst still being true to your brand. Email marketing automation can handle the big data, such as location, in a way not possible without it.

Email Marketing Top Trends Conclusion 

In the modern digital era, email marketing will again be an invaluable tool for those in nearly every industry. Now we can see the power of these trends already and as a result are sure that email marketing will continue to be impactful for the foreseeable future. Advertise and interact smarter with email marketing in 2021!

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